Restore the Delta responds to False Screed from Gov. Brown-allied flack: Is this part of Westlands’ Water District’s $1 million PR campaign? Or Part of Californians for Water Security?

You know you’re getting your message through when one of Gov. Brown’s pro-tunnels front groups launches untruthful attacks on you.

One of the legions of flacks being paid to push Gov. Brown’s Delta-destroying tunnels has attacked Restore the Delta in a typically truth-twisting screed.

It’s difficult to believe the guy who bought Enron stock while advising Gov. Davis on energy policy. The same guy who bought fracking company stock while advising Speaker Perez has little credibility on the Delta. Who’s paying for these attacks on Restore the Delta?

We do take it personally when false attacks are launched on us.

So we thought we’d take a few minutes to respond, and then we’ll go back to fighting the stupid tunnels. Please support our work in the face of false attacks on our coalition.

The attack claims Restore the Delta: “supports the unsustainable status quo for the Delta” FALSE.

We reject Gov. Brown’s tunnels as a horrible response to our water challenges.

We don’t support the status quo, and anyone who has read a word of our policy over the past many years would see that we have been campaigning precisely to stop the draining of the Delta. This false claim is a 10 on the bullsh@$ scale.

The attack claims that RTD is an “astroturf” group – that is, a phony grassroots organization. If you are reading this piece, you know that’s false.

Restore the Delta is a real grassroots organization, with more than 15,000 supporters, that does actual organization work, and raises its own budget every year through real fundraising events, and individual and business donations. We have real members, with real farms and businesses, real fishermen, who really care about a sustainable Delta. This gets a 9.5 on the bullsh+* scale. Next time you get one of our fundraising appeals, please donate to demonstrate that you are “real” and support RTD.

The attack claims that RTD “is funded by billionaire developers, a Koch brothers contributor, and big water users” – one of whom even owns a golf course. My goodness.

Restore the Delta represents all those who live, farm, fish and run businesses in the Delta, as well as more than 15,000 supporters across the state. Our members run the political gamut from very conservative to very liberal, and from every walk of life, because the entire political spectrum opposes the stupid Delta-destroying tunnels pushed by the governor and his special interest allies.

Many of our members would not spend more than an hour in a room with one another, but they agree with RTD that the tunnels and over pumping the Delta are NOT solutions.


A little truthful history:

Restore the Delta has existed as a campaign since 2006. From 2006 through 2010, we were under the fiscal sponsorship of Friends of the River. In 2011, we became our own separate 501c3 organization. Since 2011, we have raised a total of $1,542,504.50 through 3417 donations. Our average donation amount is $451.00.

We have received 3109 donations at $999 and below for a total of $333,962.57. These donations come from people throughout all of California.

We have received 308 donations at $1000 and above for a total of $1,207,534.93. The average major donor contribution is $3920.57. Of these 308 donors, 90% of them come from Delta landowners, almost all family farmers. The other 10% of our major donors are foundations, fishing groups, Delta area businesses, and private citizens from throughout California. We have three major donors who are area developers. Their donations have made up 5.2% of our total budget since 2011.

Our top 12 donors have contributed 26% of our total funding, and we are grateful to them for their generosity. Only one of those donors is a Restore the Delta Board Member, the AG Spanos Corporation. Their contributions make up 4% of our total revenue raised.

We operate depending on funding availability on an annual budget of $250,000 to $350,000 dollars. While we are grateful to our supporters for their generosity, the bigger story here is how underfunded we are compared to those groups doing media work, organizing, and lobbying for the water exporters. They have budgets in the millions annually. The fact that we have built a successful campaign at this funding level from such a diverse mix of supporters speaks to the fact that we have stayed true to our mission and that our supporters are passionate advocates for the Delta. They may hold diverse political views, but they are united in their opposition to Governor Brown’s plan to build the Delta tunnels and to the over pumping of the Delta.

We are proud that we run a grassroots campaign made up of supporters from every background and with contributions at every dollar level. We are grateful that all our supporters make contributions to the best of their individual financial ability and through their gifts of time and talent.

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